This study analyzes the US silicone market. It presents historical demand data for the years 2001, 2006 and 2011, and forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by product (e.g., fluids, elastomers, resins, gels), market (e.g., industrial, consumer, construction, medical) and application (e.g., vehicles and binders, elastomeric components, surfactants, polishes, lubricants and greases). It also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles industry players.
US demand for silicones is forecast to reach $4 billion in 2016, with advances accelerating strongly from the pace of the recession-impacted 2006-2011 period. Gains will stem from rebounding growth in manufacturing output and construction activity, spurred by improving economic conditions. In volume terms, silicone demand is projected to reach more than 800 million pounds in 2016. The average price of silicones is expected to increase at a more moderate rate than that of the 2006-2011 period, restrained by intense price competition. Pricing growth will further be restricted by greater competition from lower cost imports. Imports from China, for example, have risen substantially in recent years.
Silicone gels to advance rapidly from small base
Silicone fluids and elastomers comprised the largest share of silicone demand in 2011, combining to account for more than four-fifths of the total. Although silicone fluids will experience the slowest gains through 2016 due to maturity in certain markets, increasing output of cosmetics and toiletries will drive demand for silicone fluids used in emollients and conditioning agents. Above average gains in silicone elastomer demand will be based on rebounding growth in the construction market, as well as greater use in medical applications, where liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is increasingly valued for its ease of processing, flexibility, and ability to form high precision parts. Silicone gels represent the smallest and fastest growing product segment, with rapid expansion driven in part by the increasing utilization of silicone gel encapsulants in the electronics market, especially in the fast growing photovoltaic sector. Moreover, silicone gel-filled breast implants -- which were reintroduced to the market in 2006 after a 14-year ban -- will continue to capture market share from their salinefilled counterparts.
Industrial market to offer best growth prospects
The industrial market will account for the majority of silicone demand through 2016. The motor vehicle segment is projected to achieve the most significant gains, driven by substantial increases in vehicle output from relatively low 2011 levels, as well as advancements in silicone technology aimed at improving vehicle safety and fuel efficiency. In addition, consumer preferences for quieter cabins will promote the use of silicone sealants and other products that aid in noise and vibration reduction.
Among other markets, construction and medical products will achieve the most rapid growth. Advances in the construction segment will be propelled by a strong recovery in building construction expenditures, particularly in the new residential segment, as well as the use of high performance silicone-based adhesives and sealants, caulks, and coatings. The medical market has been the fastest growing segment of the silicone industry in recent years, and will continue to expand strongly due to the ongoing technological development of new products. Silicone’s biocompatibility, low surface tension, chemical and thermal stability, and water-resistant qualities make it ideal for medical applications, ranging from tubing to implants to medical adhesives and wound care products.
37 US silicone industry competitors covered including Dow Corning, Momentive Performance Materials, Wacker Chemie and more.
This study examines the US market for silicones by product (e.g., fluids, elastomers, resins, and gels), market (e.g., industrial, consumer, construction, and medical), and application (e.g., vehicles and binders, elastomeric components, lubricants and greases, emollients, surfactants, conditioning agents, and others). Historical data for 2001, 2006, and 2011 and forecasts for the years 2016 and 2021 are provided for silicone demand in current dollars for each of the products, applications, and markets. Volume data (in pounds) is provided by product and application. In addition, the key strategic and competitive variables affecting the US silicone industry are discussed, the industry’s key players are identified and profiled, and US market share is evaluated. The entire study is framed within the silicone industry’s economic and market environments.
Information and data on silicones were obtained from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including government and trade associations, industry participants, online databases, and other Freedonia studies. Trade associations include the American Plastics Council and the Society of the Plastics Industry. Primary information was gathered through consultations with officers and marketing personnel of participating companies and other industry specialists. Secondary data and background information were obtained from various trade publications including Adhesives & Sealants Industry, Chemical & Engineering News, Chemical Engineering, Chemical Week, European Rubber Journal, Global Cosmetic Industry, ICIS Chemical Business, Plastics News, and Rubber & Plastics News. Corporate annual reports, SEC Form 10-K filings, product catalogs, and other company information were also used extensively in framing the industry and market environments and as input for market size assessments.
Throughout this study, demand is related to various indicators for comparative purposes and to facilitate further analysis. Tabular details may not add to totals due to independent rounding, and calculated ratios reflect unrounded numbers. The macroeconomic indicators used in this study were obtained from The Freedonia Group Consensus Forecasts dated February 2012. Due to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ use of chain weighted price indices, inflation-adjusted gross domestic product components (2005 dollars) may not add to the total.